It is possible for all nodes in a stack to have primary-capability set to OFF. For example, if a stack was operating with no redundancy (for example, with one primary-capable node) and the primary node failed, all other nodes in the stack restart as standby nodes and there is no primary node.
Another example is the case where you dismantle a stack before using the unconfigure stacking command or the unconfigure switch all command. In this case, the individual switches are configured for stacking, are not primary-capable, and are isolated from a stack primary.
In this situation, the only security information available is the failsafe account. If you know the failsafe user name and password, you can log into any node and reconfigure primary-capability or redundancy. However, if you do not know the failsafe account information, there is another way you can change the configuration.
The procedure described here generally is not needed if another primary-capable node is expected to rejoin the stack. If this procedure is used, it is possible that the new primary will duplicate the primary that is expected to rejoin later.
To assign a new primary-capable node, follow these steps.
Node reboot initiated with primary-capability turned on.
This node then sets an internal indicator that is preserved across the reboot. While restarting, the node notices and resets this indicator, ignores the node primary-capability configuration, and becomes a primary node.
The special login ID described here is available only if all of the following conditions are met:
If the above conditions are met, five minutes after starting the node and every five minutes after that, the following message displays on the console:
Warning: the stack has no Primary node and all active nodes are operating with primary-capability turned off. If you wish to reconfigure, you may log in using the failsafe account. Alternatively, you may use the special login REBOOT AS PRIMARY-CAPABLE with no password to force a reboot of a node with primary-capability temporarily turned on.
Using the special login ID does not alter the primary-capability configuration permanently. If you restart a node that has been restarted with the special login ID, that node restarts using its configured primary-capability, unless you again use the special login ID to restart.
When a node has been rebooted using the special login ID, it becomes a primary node. While the node is a primary, the special login ID is not recognized, even though the entire stack is still configured as not primary-capable. To get the special login ID to be recognized, the node must be rebooted again.
config none boot
The switch boots up in stacking mode operating as a primary-capable switch. You can then log in using the default admin account with no password.